THERE ARE NO POTATOES by Hal Sirowitz
You make me sound like a racist, Mother said,
for making matter-of-fact statements, like
Chinese people love rice. I've never gone
into a Chinese restaurant & seen any potatoes
on their menu. You've become the guardian
of the Blacks, Hispanics, & Asians. If I
mention them you immediately criticize me.
I want to know who appointed you to this role.
It couldn't have been them. You don't know any.
And yet you set yourself up as the judge & jury.
I didn't pick you to be my son. God did. He
seemed to know what he was doing. You were
well behaved in the stroller. But now you've
become antagonistic. Sometimes I want to just leave.
Then I remind myself, "This is my home. I'm not
supposed to leave. You're the one who's supposed
to go." But the only place you go is to the library
where you learn more facts to be used against me.
You keep blaming me for what's wrong with the world.
It's not my fault if people don't like each other.
All I did was go into a Chinese restaurant, & saw
the word "rice" everywhere. There was rice & chicken,
rice & vegetables, rice & fish. I didn't see any potatoes.